New & Noteworthy

Archive for February, 2015

17 Feb 2015

Inform the Future, Share Your Thoughts with the NIBA Advisory Council

The Advisory Council for the Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance Research Coordination Network is undertaking a review of the Strategic and Implementation Plan for the Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance. The purpose of this review is to evaluate progress made to date and to identify potential gaps in these plans and priorities for future initiatives. To inform this review, the Advisory Council would like to hear from the community.

The Strategic Plan set the biocollections community in the United States on a 10-year course to digitize and mobilize the scientific information associated with biological specimens held in U.S. research collections. The Implementation Plan published in 2013 included six recommendations for realizing the Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance. These recommendations are:

  1. Establish an organizational and governance structure that will provide the national leadership and decision-making mechanism required to implement NIBA and to fully realize its Strategic Plan.
  2. Advance engineering of the US biocollections cyberinfrastructure.
  3. Enhance the training of existing collections staff and create the next generation of biodiversity information managers.
  4. Increase support for and participation in NIBA by the research community and a broad spectrum of stakeholders.
  5. Establish an enduring and sustainable knowledge base.
  6. Infuse specimen-based learning and exploration into formal and informal education.

For more detail on these recommendations, please refer to the Strategic and Implementations Plans.

The Advisory Council would appreciate hearing community perspectives on the following:

  • Are these recommendations still appropriate?
  • Are there items that were not included in the plan that should have been?
  • Are there items that have been completely or partially addressed by existing initiatives or groups? What are these and which goals do they specifically address?
  • Have needs emerged that should be considered if the NIBA is to be achieved?
  • Are you aware of new partnerships or collaborations with non-traditional users of biocollections?
  • General thoughts and recommendations.

Thoughts and recommendations about these or other items can be shared by leaving a comment on the homepage.

13 Feb 2015

Information Collection Proposed for Non-Federal Interior Collection Curators

The Department of the Interior is proposing to collect information from museums, university departments, and other curators of federal collections about their compliance with federal laws, regulations, and Departmental policy pertaining to the documentation, management, and preservation of Interior museum collections.

The annual information collection is estimated to take 2 hours and 20 minutes per respondent. Information collected would include:

  1. A facility checklist to assess and evaluate exhibit, storage, and administrative office spaces that house Interior museum collections to ensure compliance with Department requirements.
  2. A catalog records of Interior museum objects, including accession number; catalog number; discipline and classification; object or scientific name; unit acronym and/or identifier; controlled property status; item count or quantity; current location; description; condition; date cataloged; cataloger; and other required discipline-specific information related to scientific collections and archives, such as provenience, collector, collection site, date and number, and archival scope, content, organization or arrangement.
  3. Accession records of Interior museum objects and collections, including accession number; source and contact information; date received; date accessioned; accession type; description; project name; item total by discipline; catalog status; and any catalog numbers in the accession.
  4. Inventories of Interior museum collections, including object found; item count; location; condition; date of inventory; and inventory method.
  5. Information on Interior collections, including the estimated number of Interior collections at the facility, if applicable; accession numbers of Interior collections; number of catalog records for Interior collections; type of museum catalog database used, if applicable; existence of Interior NAGPRA collections; inventory status; and research use.

About ten percent of Interior’s collections are managed by non-federal partners.

Public comments on the proposed information collection are due by 5 March 2015. Learn more at

13 Feb 2015

Nominations Being Accepted for IPBES Regional Assessments

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is seeking nominations of natural and social scientists to serve on committees that will create regional and sub-regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Groups are being convened for the Americas, Africa, Asia and Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia.

The Ecological Society of America is assisting the U.S. government in identifying American experts to serve. For more information, visit

13 Feb 2015

Participate in the Small Collections Survey

iDigBio, the Small Collections Network, and the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections are conducting a survey of small natural history collections. If you are associated with what you define as a small collection in your domain, whether in a museum, academic institution, field or research station, or elsewhere, please take a few minutes to complete the survey at